Enabling resource scheduling for any entity

With Dynamics 365 Field Service, comes an amazing feature, the ability to schedule any entity, not just project tasks or work orders.

Why is this so good? Think of these scenarios:

  • I manage leads and I want to schedule those leads for calls base don the right skill match for the lead request
  • I need to schedule a team to deliver a presentation or process
  • I want real time updates on the progress of scheduled items
  • As a business we have cars that the staff can book, so need the ability to schedule the cars and see real time what is in use and when they will be back in

The list just keeps on going, the number of scenarios I can think about where there is a scheduling need is endless.

So how do I set this up, follow these simple steps to get you up and running:

  1. You will need either the Field Service or Project service App or a Plan license to utilise these features.
  2. Once you have installed the App, you will get a new site map node “Resource Scheduling”, select this node
  3. Now click on Administration and then “Enable Resource Scheduling for Entities”
  4. You will be presented with the screen below, showing enabled entities and ability o enable a new entity.
  5. resource-scheduling-1
  6. In the Add entity, select the entity that you want to schedule, I am going to use Accounts, for scheduling an Account Update meeting.
  7. For the booking relationship, select create new relationship and if skill requirements are required select create new relationship for skills.
  8. Then select publish, this will enable the booking relationship and skill relationship for Accounts. This may take a few minutes to publish, be patient 🙂
  9. Once completed you will be presented with a final metadata setting screen for the new scheduling entity. Here you can select the appropriate statuses for the booking process, default booking duration, and the Longitude and latitude fields to be used in mapping. See below for my Account:
  10. resource-scheduling-2
  11. Update as required and save and close the metadata. Your entity is now set-up.
  12. To  schedule, navigate to your entity and you will notice a new command “Book” as below.
  13. resource-scheduling-3
  14. Select Book, and you will be prompted with the schedule experience
  15. Select your resource and book and close
  16. resource-scheduling-4
  17. You can see the booking by navigating to the new Booking resource booking associated view and the booked resource can engage with the booking.
  18. resource-scheduling-5resource-scheduling-6

That is it, easy as! Great work from the Dynamics Team!

Customers expect great service, deliver it with Field services for Dynamics

What do your customers remember you by? Your last delivery.

Building long lasting trusting relationships around a solid reputation of delivery is paramount into today’s services economy. With many providers delivering similar services your customer experience needs to be distinct and consistent across every client interaction. As an organisation the level of transparency and collaboration both internally and externally has escalated to the point people expect it, they expect to be involved, they expect to collaborate, they expect to be online, they expect to be able to do it anywhere, and they expect it to be simple. Delivering great field services is all about delivering to time, to expectations while managing a great relationship, so why should it not be embedded into a Customer Relationship Management solution?

The focus of Field Services

Field Services powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, focusses on the after care service of delivering products and services. How do I maintain the relationships and grow the experience post the sale? Delivering exceptional after care service is not an easy task, but if you focus on the following then you will be on the right path:

  • Exceed Customer Expectations – focus on developing a robust process around resource skills, scheduling and prioritizing of effort. Delivering great experiences is about turning up on time, with the right resource, tools to complete the job the first time.
  • Empower the Service Delivery team – enable you service delivery team with the right tools to deliver great service. Provide them the tools to enable them to keep you updated on the progress of the job and expected completion time. The more information that you have regarding the progress of service delivery will enable you to ensure your meeting the first point delivering exceptional experiences.
  • Template the approach – drive consistency within the delivery approach, create templates that can be followed and repeated. Templates enables service to be delivered consistently every time with the assurance to customers that whoever turns up will deliver the same experience and service.
  • Uncover Insights – through capturing the delivery in a consistent manner, drives up the quality of data that you can run analytics on, uncovering key insights. Insights enable you to focus your delivery team on the right KPIs to drive up customer satisfaction and experience.
  • Visibility of schedules – the ability to schedule efficiently and have wide visibility of resources, their schedules and location enables you to deliver to your customer’s expectation. A schedule boards importance is being able to present the relevant information in the most efficient manner to meet the end users need. Thus it is important to be able to define different views of the data to support the scheduling delivery team. You may need to look by product, by region, by fault, by location, the more flexible the board can be the more customer focused experiences you can deliver.
  • Billing – Effective billing is essential for great service delivery. Being consistent with the way you bill and how you bill drives great customer experiences and provides the customer with confidence in the service that you are delivering. Thus having the ability to automate the billing process and charge appropriately by the customer is critical in the success of any service delivery operation. 

 

Introducing Field Services for Dynamics CRM

Field Service is an end-to-end solution that extends Microsoft Dynamics CRM to provide a single system of customer engagement for after care and service delivery teams. Through the common user interface of Dynamics CRM and Office 365, you service delivery team can excel at what they do best, delivering exceptional customer service.

Field services for Dynamics CRM delivers: 

  • Service Agreement. Field Service agreements enable you as a business to sell and manage consistent offerings. Service agreements enable you to bundle recurring jobs, the preferred resources, at the agreed rate and billed on agreed schedule. Service agreements form the foundation of great service delivery.
  • Case Management. Case management enables you to log a call, manage the activity related to the call, within the right Service Level Agreement and generate work orders as and when required. Case management is the backbone to managing after care service excellence. It provides the mechanisms to drive insights that drive performance and efficiencies. Coupled with Knowledge management, self-serve and team management, makes Case management a very comprehensive solution.
  • Resource management. Resource information includes the skills and proficiencies of your workforce. You can view and filter resources based on skills and availability, so you can assign the right people to the right jobs.
  • Time and expenses. The job costs can be recorded within the system by the service delivery user and presented to the customer at the end of the job. Sophisticated product and service pricing can be managed within the familiar product management of Dynamics CRM.
  • Work Order Management. Work orders can be created and scheduled according to the request be via an agreement or ad-hoc call. Work orders can be associated existing customer assets and service plans to drive the correct resolution of the incident type. The scheduling board provides clear visibility of the jobs that are scheduled, the unscheduled jobs and the availability of the resources to deliver